U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library


NCJ Number
Law and Order Volume: 41 Issue: 5 Dated: (May 1993) Pages: 89-92
A G Sharp
Date Published
4 pages
The number of women police officers in departments across the country is steadily increasing; the average percentage of female officers in an agency is 7.7 percent. In fact, in the next few years, the demand for women officers may exceed the supply; studies show that State departments in particular have difficulty in retaining female officers.
Many police chiefs and sheriffs have, however, been successful in hiring women officers and find them to be reliable, loyal to the department, highly effective in reducing public complaints, and often at the top of the promotional list. Still, female police officers have had to work hard to overcome opposition from management and their male colleagues; in fact, many agencies admit that they have hired women only because of government or outside pressures. Twenty-five percent of agencies responding to a recent poll stated female police officers had filed sexual harassment suits. Most departments reported that hiring and training requirements are virtually identical for males and females. Over half the agencies have made changes in physical facilities and grooming requirements to accommodate women. The survey results indicated that women are becoming fully integrated into their departments and moving into administrative and supervisory positions.